Over the past few months I had the opportunity to visit both islands and experience the hunting on them. I arranged both trips through Dan Goodenow of Jim Shockey's Hunting Adventures. The idea behind their partnership with APICDA is to help the local Aleuts build a hunting program that will provide work, income and meat to those natives still living on the islands, and create awareness of the Aleutian people and their fascinating history. Most people are unaware that the village of Nikolski on Umnak Island, for example, is one of the few settlements on Earth that has been in continuous habitation for more than 8,000 years.
Even veteran Alaska hunters are probably unfamiliar with the Aleutian Islands. This chain of islands stretches off the Alaska Peninsula way out into the Bering Sea. It is 1,100 miles as the crow flies from Anchorage to Atka; a little less to Umnak. Both islands are further out than Dutch Harbor, made famous by the cable television show Deadliest Catch. The weather in the Aleutians can change from one hour to the next, with strong winds, fog, rain, hail,........(continued)